Tcho Tcho Balance Change and Why and How

For some weeks we have been listening to you, and analyzing the experience people have with the Tcho-Tchos. The conclusions we have reached are threefold.

IT’S A NEW FACTION

First, as a new faction, many people are unprepared to deal with them, and suffer initial defeats. Then there is a natural tendency to fear the Tcho-Tcho advantages, or at least to fail to capitalize fully on their weaknesses. This is exacerbated by the fact that the Tcho-Tchos are actually pretty easy to master, so their players are up to snuff sooner than their opponents can figure out how to stop them. This aspect of the Tcho-Tchos I am not going to change. Indeed, I am proud of it.

TCHO TCHO TURTLING

Second, the Tcho-Tchos are too capable of “turtling” – holing up in the late game with 1-2 gates, recruiting HPs, and simply Ritualing for 4 Elder Signs at a time. Other factions can overwhelm or match this Doom potential by brute force.

For example, Cthulhu can often end the game with 5 Gates (and it’s easier in a game with Tcho-Tchos because they don’t often launch spoiling attacks). This means the last Doom phase for Cthulhu nets him 10 Doom plus an Elder Sign – two, if he reawakened Cthulhu in the turn. This gives him 11-16 Doom for his last turn. A Tcho-Tcho with 2 Gates, taking 4 elder signs, will earn 8-16 Doom in that same last turn.

Yellow Sign, using Third Eye, can easily gain 3-4 Elder Signs in the last turn, then Ritual with 2 gates (same as the Tcho Tchos) and get 2 more elder signs from his GOOs. That equals or exceeds the Tcho Tchos.

But, in the above examples, Cthulhu & Yellow Sign had to go out and DO things to attain that Doom. It’s not as fun for anyone when a good strategy is to sit in a hole & guard your precious.

So I am addressing this. I am not completely removing the Tcho Tcho ability to turtle – just tempering it. read on to see what I did.

OH BABY THAT STARTING HIGH PRIEST!

In a game using the High Priest Expansion, every faction except the Tcho Tchos gets a slight boost. My solution to this was to give the Tcho Tchos a bump up in this case – namely a starting high priest, at the expense of one of their cultists.

My logic was this would give the Tcho Tchos more starting choices. Boy, was I right! Reports are that folks have learned how to use this to a huge advantage, far more than we detected in our own tests. Kudos

HOW DID SANDY ADDRESS THESE BALANCE IDEAS?

I have changed two of the Tcho Tcho spellbooks.

The Tablets of the God spellbook now states that you earn 1 Elder Sign per Gated Area in which you have any high priests. You then lose all your high priests. This means you have to maintain and protect three gates to gain your 3 Elder Signs – no trivial matter for the combat-poor Tcho Tchos. Plus if you are forced into Martyrdom to protect a gate, you’ll need to re-recruit him before the Doom phase.

This still lets the Tcho Tchos turtle, a little. But not as much. There is a huge difference between 2 gates & 3 gates, plus the high priests have to be split up, too. It makes the Tcho Tchos far more interactive and forces them into confrontation, which is good.

Enemies who want to meddle with the Tcho Tchos will find it much easier. A gate defended by a cultist, a high priest, and 2 proto-shoggoths is not a tough nut to crack. Remember you don’t even have to kill the Tcho Tcho high priest – just get it away from the gate! Every faction has its own approach to this, which I will leave as an exercise for you players!

I have also changed the Hierophants spellbook. Now it states that when this spellbook is first received, EVERY faction with a high priest in the unit pool gets a free high priest. Thereafter, the Tcho Tchos (only) continue to get a free high priest with each subsequent spellbook.

This means that while the Tcho Tchos still start with a slight advantage in a high priest game, this is quickly trumped when the other factions get their free high priest! Also it means that, sometimes, the Tcho Tchos may wish to NOT get Hierophants as their first spellbook, to keep their enemies at bay. After all, the normal Tcho Tcho start is to get a spellbook in the first Doom phase, then take Hierophants. Now if they do this, all the other factions get a high priest too! It’s like giving them all 3 Power. Kind of scary.

Both of these changes give the Tcho Tchos more choices, and this makes them more interesting to play and to play against.

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